Tyra Banks, who has famously fluctuated in weight since her days as a professional model ended, admitted today she has herself fallen victim to foolish methods of weight loss.
“A couple of years ago I lost – I wouldn’t say it was 30 [pounds] – but it was a considerable amount of weight,” said the fashion industry icon.
Tyra Banks, 38, was speaking at a press conference in Singapore to launch Asia’s Next Top Model, the latest adaptation of her successful TV franchise.
“I went on a health challenge with the crew of America’s Next Top Model, and at the time I had a talk show,” Tyra Banks explained.
Tyra Banks and her crew were filming in Brazil, and after realizing that they were “really unhealthy [and] not working out”, a decision was made to “see who can get the healthiest the fastest”.
“I’m very competitive, so what did I do? I ate so much for about three weeks, so that I could gain 10 pounds so that when we all weighed in, I could weight a lot more and then lose it fast.
“So I won. I lost a lot of weight, but then I looked in the mirror and decided I’d lost too much.
“And so I’ve actually gained some back.”
Tyra Banks told the Singapore audience she created America’s Next Top Model to “expand the definition of beauty, and to show different types of beauty”.
“But I feel that after 10 years of Top Model being on the air, that the public now understands that it’s not about looking like Barbie, but that it’s about so many different types of beauty.”
Tyra Banks said: “The fashion industry has always been obsessed with thin …
“I fight every single day to try to expand that, and to try to show different types of beauty.
“So sometimes my girls will win America’s Next Top Model, and then call me crying, saying they don’t fit any of the clothes at Fashion Week, and so that’s a challenge that we have.
“But it’s what the Tyra Banks company stands for, it’s what America’s Next Top Model stands for … is not having a cookie cutter.”
One of the Victoria’s Secret original angels, Tyra Banks says she’s proud of Vogue magazine.
“They just started an initiative where they’re going to pay attention to girls that they feel are unhealthy, not treating themselves their bodies right – and hopefully they won’t just have a size double zero on the runway.”
She added: “If that was the rule when I started high fashion modelling back in the day, I wouldn’t be on the stage right now, because there is no way even one of my thoighs could have gotten into a double zero.”
The high-profile entrepreneur, who famously prefers the term “fiercely real” over “plus-size” for models that aren’t double zeros, said she believes “things are changing slowly” in her industry.
“Sophia Loren and Marilyn Munroe and Jane Mansfield … the thing is with women’s bodies, our bodies go in and out of fashion.
“One decade it’s about curves, and another decade it’s about being thin, if you think about Twiggy’s era.
“Then another decade it’s about being athletic, if you think about the Eighties; then the Nineties was even more athletic – you have to have a six pack – like Janet Jackson.
“And then the new millennium was about being super stick thin, then for a little bit you had to have a big bootie like Beyonce and Kim Kardashian … and now it’s like, ‘Ooh you gotta be skinny again – but not too skinny.
“It’s really sad that as women, we cannot be really beautiful in our differences. It’s a sad fact that women have to live with.”